Becoming A Master of Artful Mistake Making with Tamara Jacobi
Have you ever dreamed of running away to live in the jungle? Do you instantly get visions of living a life just like Tarzan, swinging from the trees and being one with your surroundings? Well, maybe it’s not exactly as romantic as that, but my guest today Tamara Jacobi, has certainly found her place in the jungle.
The story of how Tamara came to open the Tailwind Jungle Lodge in San Pancho, Mexico, with her parents as her business partners at only 22, is certainly not a story you’d hear often. As a fresh-faced college graduate, Tamara found herself at the fork in the road trying to decide between a corporate job on Wall Street, or pursuing this passion project with her parents. It wasn’t an easy choice to make, but ultimately, it came down to her asking a very important question, “What Would I Regret More?”, and the rest is history.
Now in their 13th season in the jungle, Tamara has no regrets. Although it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, as you’ll discover from listening to Tamara on the podcast today, she is truly living a life that is aligned with her purpose.
SOME TOPICS WE COVER:
Asking yourself the question, “What Would I Regret More?” when making tough choices
What it’s really like running a family business
Embracing a slower paced lifestyle
The highs and lows of living, and working in the jungle
Learning to adapt to the unfamiliar
What is a Wildpreneur
Listening and trusting your body to help guide you in the right direction
It is possible to have too many mentors
The one thing to do to help find more clarity and insight
Finding the best approach if you’re looking to start a business
The value in the slow and steady approach
Being comfortable with being alone
BOOKS WE MENTIONED:
Wildpreneur - Tamara Jacobi - Available for Pre-Order Right Now
Lunar Abundance - Ezzie Spencer
Let My People Go Surfing - Yvon Chouinard
High Performance Habits - Brendon Burchard
Tamara: Any romantic notions I had of this eco-chic boutique retreat center were definitely torn apart, in a good way. I think the jungle tore me apart so that it could build me up stronger.
Vitina: Namaste and welcome, I'm Vitina Blumenthal and you're listening to the Soul Compass podcast. I'm here to help you find your inner calm and deepen your self-discovery journey. Take this moment and focus on yourself. For your mental health, your ability to find ease in your everyday life and your emotional well-being. It is so important that you nourish yourself not only physically but also emotionally and mentally. Here at Soul Compass, you'll learn practical tips from experts who will leave you with a sharper focus and a renewed commitment to yourself.
Hello and welcome to the 14th Soul Compass episode. I'm Vitina, and I think at this point you can call me “V”. We're friends now. I am excited to share this episode with you. Just like all the other episodes. We've had some pretty awesome guests on the podcast. But today's guest is just such an authentic soul. She's so genuine, so kind but also super real. We love to keep it real on the podcast and that being said, you know I love to share stories. Hopefully you can find something within the story that relates back to you and your journey.
I'll be honest with you, I have made so many mistakes. I've failed so many times along my journey. At first it felt like I was being kicked to the ground, and I would get back up. And then I'd be kicked again, I'd fall to the ground, and then I'd get back up. And then I just started feeling like a push, I'd still fall, but I wasn't kicked. Let's be clear. And I'd get back up. Still to this day I can feel the push when I've made a mistake or when I failed or something didn't work out but it doesn't affect me emotionally as much as it did when I first started my business especially.
There's been so many mistakes in where I've spent my time and energy, where I've spent my resources. The lessons that I've been able to learn in my failures and my mistakes I think have been. Actually more. Progressive and help me evolve more as an individual. Than any of my wins although winds feel internally a lot better.
You know the saying, “It's not about the destination, it's about the journey”. And a lot of my especially when I first started in building WanderfulSoul specifically, I wanted the outcomes so quickly. I wanted the business to grow quicker. I wanted myself to grow quicker. I just wanted everything to be on fast forward. And I don't know at what point my mindset changed because of course I've been hearing that saying for years but to actually feel it in your body and believe that the journey is actually more important than the outcome. Is really hard to sit with. That's probably been one of the hardest lessons for me to learn and it probably was at some point in so much deep suffering that I was causing for myself because I wasn't where I wanted to be that I finally let go of that belief. That I was able to just fully be where I was at and be okay with that.
Before we dive in, let's do a little check in together. If you're seated on a chair un-crossing your legs planting the soles of the feet onto the earth. If you happen to be on the ground finding a comfortable seated position. And if you're driving just adjusting your spine or sitting up tall.
And allow the hands if it's safe now, when you're driving to rest on your lap.
Pressing into the sit bones and reaching tall through the crown of your head.
Taking a deep inhale into the nose. And on the exhale allowing the shoulders to drop away from your ears. Taking three more breaths together taking a deep inhale. And exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Relaxing the muscles in the face. Last time. Inhale.
Exhale to let it go. Noticing where you're at today. In this moment. Where you're at energetically. Emotionally. Physically.
Just reminding yourself that you are perfect and whole exactly as you are in this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing
needs to change. Just honouring exactly where you're at. And whenever you're ready you can gently open your eyes.
Now that I have you present, grounded in the moment. Let's dive into this week's episode.
My question for you is, have you ever dreamed of running away to live in the jungle? I think that's always been one of my dreams. Do you instantly get visions of living a life just like Tarzan, swinging from the trees and being one with your surroundings. Well, to be honest maybe it's not exactly as romantic as that, but my guest today Tamara Jacobi has certainly found her place in the jungle.
The story of how Tamara came to open the Tailwind Jungle Lodge in San Pancho, Mexico or San Francisco, Mexico with her parents as her business partners at only 22 years old is certainly not a story you'd hear often. As a fresh faced college graduate, Tamara found herself at the fork in the road trying to decide between a corporate job on Wall Street, very shiny, or pursuing this passion project with her parents. I could only imagine how difficult that was. It wasn't an easy choice to make but ultimately it came down to her asking one very important question. "What would I regret more"? And the rest is history. Now in their 13th season in the jungle, Tamara has no regrets.
Although it's not all sunshine and rainbows as you'd expect in the jungle, as you'll discover from listening to Tamara on the podcast today she is truly living a life that is aligned with her purpose. The conversation was just flowing when we were together. Some topics that we cover and are not limited to:
Embracing a slower paced life.
Learning to adapt to the unfamiliar.
We talk about what a Wildpreneur is.
Listening and trusting your body to help guide you in the right direction.
The possibility that it might not be a good thing to have too many mentors.
The one thing to do to help find more clarity.
Finding the best approach if you're looking to start a business, and it might not always be jumping right into it.
And being comfortable with being alone. Yikes I know that's not an easy one.
But without further ado, let's dive into this week's episode.
Vitina: To fill all the listeners in, Tamara and I met probably almost four years ago at the birth of connecting and discussing about doing a retreat at Tailwind Jungle Lodge, which Tamara and her family are the proud owners of. It's deep in the jungle, near Puerto Vallarta, near a small town called San Pancho. It's this magical healing place that I had the honor of doing my first retreat at. Tamara and I, we connected right away. Tamara, it was so interesting, because I actually had found your lodge on another retreat, maybe bookyogaretreats.com or whatever one of those sites were, and I saw someone else who was actually doing a retreat at Tailwind.
I looked at it, and I don't get this too often, but I looked at your website. I watched the video on the homepage and all I thought was, "This is where I'm doing my first retreat." I knew it right away.
Tamara: I love it.
Vitina: Tamara and I had the pleasure of coordinating, building this dream retreat for myself. In the process, I really got to know Tamara and her journey. Tamara, I would love for you to share a little bit more so our listeners can understand your journey and how you started embarking on this self-development, self-discovery journey for yourself.
Tamara: Of course. I'm happy to share, and I have done some thinking about this based on having just written a book about my experience. The question of where it all began can sometimes be a little bit abstract. Going back, I didn't have just one “aha” moment. I think my upbringing was very much about the Wildpreneur philosophy, which I'm going to explain shortly here, but kind of the same approach that you have with the Soul Compass, which is to be the CEO of your life. I was raised by parents that are extremely free-spirited and kind of non-status quo if you will.
I grew up homeschooled in Central and Latin America and doing this very long-distance endurance trips in the wilderness. We biked from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to El Paso, Texas, it was a couple of thousand miles one summer and did this long backpacking trips. It was very much about life outside and designing your own life. That would be the early stages. Then, I studied abroad, ecotourism and sustainable development in Australia, and was really inspired by ecolodges in Australia. They know what they're doing over there, with the whole permaculture and design, and it was pretty trendy, this was 2005.
I returned to Middlebury College in Vermont, where I was studying and I said, "Well, I want to write up a business plan for an ecolodge." It was just a wild idea at that point. And I did it, I took a class called "Entrepreneurship 101" and wrote up a pretty rough business plan, which is kind of comedy to look back on it now. The most useful part of that process was just researching other ecolodges and figuring out, "Okay, what have people done that's working? What have people done that's not working? What would possibly suit our style?"
I guess tying that back into the family equation, my dad had always thought of having a family business. He just liked the idea of working together, because we've always been a really close family, but he had really no idea what that would be, he's like, "Yes, this family business thing, we're gonna do it," and I was like, "Yes, okay. What kind of business?" So I took his idea and gave it some shape with this business plan, and I pitched it to my parents at graduation weekend. It wasn't my very formal PowerPoint presentation, I was 21, 22, and they said, " Okay, let's do it." Then I got the thumbs up from them.
They had just purchased this beautiful piece of land in Mexico, which they had thought of just as a retirement, family vacation opportunity. I got the thumbs up from them to do this project, and at the same time, I also received a job offer from Wall Street to do some work with their sustainability policy action with Goldman Sachs. That was kind of my fork in the road. I was 22 and I had to decide between going to start this jungle lodge with my family or going to Wall Street and pursuing this kind of high powered career. I did sit with it for a couple of weeks. My close friends will tell you that I wrestled with the whole--
This is a pretty major decision to make having never really had a job before. It's kind of you don't really know what you're in for. Ultimately, the question that I had to ask was what would I regret more. It was definitely that the clear response was I will regret it if I don't go and give this jungle lodge a try. This is kind of my chance, I can always go back to studies and big careers, and so, that's the beginning of that journey. This will be our 13th season in the jungle.
Vitina: I can't believe it's already been that many years.
Tamara: Crazy, right? I agree. I'm 36 now, about to have a baby. The next generation of jungle life.
Vitina: Jungle baby is coming through. I can not wait to meet this jungle child.
Tamara: I agree, it's already a little athlete in there, it's the magic and the mystery of it all.
Vitina: Well, one, I need to point out, I love that your parents were so on board for this journey. You must have been a really responsible kid, because of the amount of ideas that I've brought to my parents and they're like, "Okay, that's great, Vitina."
Tamara: That's such a good observation, and it's interesting to think about because our roles have been a little bit reversed. In some ways, I've been more of a parent. I've always been that organized, Turbo Tam, they used to call me in college. Very focused, and that's actually been one of my greater lessons in the jungle and in Mexican culture, the mañana culture is sort of the process of letting go of control a little bit.
Vitina: Oftentimes, I don't know if you find this, but either we slowly become our parents in some way, but I think sometimes when you witness something growing up and you are like, "Why are they doing something like this?" You go in the opposite direction. El Tigre and Judi are definitely free spirits from what I remember.
Tamara: Yes, they have big personalities and they're just life lovers.
Vitina: I don't even want to paint this picture that all of this process has been rainbows and butterflies. Of course, you have been able to live in the jungle and in the summers, you're living in Colorado and going to Quebec, in Canada. You have this beautiful life. Is that the reality that it's all rainbows and butterflies? Because this is a big thing, I try and tell my students, and my listeners that it's not. I want to hear your perspective.
Tamara: Yes, I'm so grateful to have people ask me that question because it can appear very romantic, the whole Swiss Family Robinson kind of jungle lifestyle, retreat center. A lot of it is beautiful and glamorous, I suppose, but a lot of it is really not. Chapter two of my book is about getting dirty, and really, the jungle knocked me down super hard within a couple of years. Any romantic notions I had of this eco-chic boutique retreat center were definitely torn apart, in a good way. I think the jungle tore me apart so that it could build me up stronger, but it took a lot of letting go and learning those lessons. Lessons that I didn't necessarily understand at the time.
Hindsight is always 20/20, now I look back on it and I go, "Oh, that would have been so much easier if I just understood what I needed to learn instead of being so attached to the vision that I went in with." Yes, rainbows and butterflies, we have them in the jungle, but there's also a lot of mud and insects, there's plenty of challenge. I think that's part of what I loved about the journey and probably why I'm still doing it. I think probably a lot of entrepreneurs like yourself, the challenge is part of the beauty of it. If it was easy everyday then it's not quite as interesting. It's not making you grow as a person.
Vitina: No. I can completely relate to that.
Tamara: I think that's why some people sort of get stuck in this comfortable nine to five jobs; is it's more predictable, it's, maybe, not a huge challenge, that's not true for some people. I think the whole being within your comfort zone works for some, and for others, it can be just the place you get stuck and feel limited, and then the inspiration stops flowing and it's kind of a stagnant place. Call me a glutton for punishment or whatever you want to call it.
I think it's also helpful to have a seasonal business, where we're only open in the jungle from November until May, which is the dry season and there are actually a lot more rainbows and butterflies versus the summer, where it's just raining torrentially and the road is a mess, and the bugs are alive. Having that pause annually has been a really good chance for reflection and digestion of the whole season and then setting new intentions going forward with the coming year. You get a chance to catch your breath and then go back in.
Vitina: That's awesome. Well, my question for you is, what is the biggest lesson that you've learned over the last 13 years?
Tamara: I might answer differently from day to day based on whatever I'm processing at the moment. I think the ability to adapt has been a huge one. Because I think the wildpreneur journey, in general, is about embarking into the unknown. When you design your life and you are the CEO of your own life. You don't necessarily know what's coming. To be willing to adapt and flow and be flexible with whatever comes, rise to the challenges, I think that that is really crucial because if you have a really rigid idea of how it's going to go, you're doomed to fail. Because inevitably that's not how life goes.
Vitina: No. I love how you've brought this up because in a way I started on this wildpreneur journey and I thought I had control. I didn't have to listen to anyone, I made my own schedule yet like you so beautifully shared, it's not what you expect. It's not the simple path sometimes and really it is not. It's been a huge learning curve. Yes, it's been one of the biggest lessons. I always say entrepreneurship and self-discovery go hand in hand because you have to face all your biggest demons of failure, everything. It's just in your face and there is no one else often.
Especially if you are a solopreneur and you run your own business and maybe you don't have a full team. You really are face-to-face with sometimes your biggest shadows. It's not easy but it also forces you to look at it and move through it.
Tamara: Absolutely. That's really well put.
Vitina: What is a wildpreneur lifestyle? What is your definition?
Tamara: Wildpreneur is essentially a free spirit who is turning their passion into a business. That's the tag line we've got on the book cover. That said, I think passion is a word that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. As I have thought more about it, I think it's more about pursuing what makes you come alive. Passion, purpose, inspiration, these all play a role in life as a wildpreneur. I think it's just as you've covered it in so many of your recent podcasts, it's tuning into your intuition and flowing and I think being aligned with that purpose then things as a wildpreneur seem to flow much more easily. It can take a while to figure that out.
It's easy to get out of the flow, but then having the time and space and the freedom to step aside, to slow down and pause and think, "Okay, what's wrong? Why am I fighting against the current all over sudden? How do I get back on track?" So life as wildpreneur is about designing your life professionally and personally and being mindful, proceeding with intention and accessing on a daily basis, "Is this what I should be doing? Is this what I want to be doing?" so that you are aligned with that flow. Because then I think life just has this beautiful rhythm to it. That's what I'm always on a quest for, it's finding that flow.
Vitina: How do you know when you are in your rhythm?
Tamara: I think everything just feels a little bit more easeful. It's not to say it's not without challenge. There are definitely times when you are out of your comfort zone. As going back to what you were saying when you led your first retreat in the jungle, it's that feeling of excitement and fear, which is kind of a beautiful combination that lets you know that you are on the right track. It's those happy butterflies of they are kind of anxious and eager and you know it's the next step. That's not always super clear, but for me, it seems to be a good guideline.
Vitina: No, that's a beautiful indicator. I always say if you feel a little bit scared and excited all at once, that is like a personal navigation system saying, "Okay, I got to do this." It's like all over sudden all this energy, this rush of energy surges through your body. Even in the challenge -- I like that you brought that up because -- of course, still when things are exciting and you are going after your dreams, there're often many more challenges. It's like the universe wants to test you, how badly do you want this. Listening to your body and the sensations that are coming out, it is such a beautiful tool to indicate when you are in alignment.
Tamara: Yes. I think a lot of synchronicities can sort of back that up or counter it. I think looking for the signs-- I have my woo-woo side for sure but I'm also a very practical person.
Vitina: So I've just learned.
Tamara: [laughs] So I do my share of meditation and yoga and I'm also an ultra-athlete and I rely on the endorphin rush and I also do a lot reading about science and trying to figure out, "Okay, what is the strategy here for moving forward?" I think looking for clues and signs and connections. You mentioned in your interview in the book about mentors and how you found that that support can make all the difference. I think surrounding yourself with the people that are going to support you on the path you choose can also be a huge factor ultimately in your success.
Vitina: You know it's so funny, like, "Did I say that?" [laughs]
Tamara: You did. You also said too many mentors can be too many cooks in the kitchen. So I think there's a balance there.
Vitina: Yes. There is a balance and that is a huge lesson that I have learned. I had too many mentors all at once and I didn't know who to listen to. Tuning into you, I think has been the biggest one. Just like you said having that spaciousness between the seasons gives you that personal time for reflection and being able to see what's working, what's not working, what's taking up your energy but not bringing you an abundance in some sort of way in return, it's so important.
Tamara: Yes. For me, it's been I think the only that we can keep the lodge going. Also, hospitality can be a very full-time energetic output and so it's a good system for everyone to have the host, myself and my parents take a break. Now we go back into our season feeling refreshed and recharged and excited to meet all these incredible people. These adventures and free spirits that come through the lodge.
Vitina: I love it. For those of you who are listening, you are kind of getting little snippets of what this Wildpreneur book is all about. I have a little story in wildpreneur and it's filled with different wildpreneur experiences. Do you have any examples that you would like to share of a wildpreneur lifestyle that really stood out to you that you can give us an example?
Tamara: There are so many examples. I've interviewed wildpreneurs all across North America and now reaching out globally. There's just this movement alive of people who have these ideas, these creative visions. It could be anything from becoming a surfing instructor to building skis to becoming a freelance writer, a yoga teacher -- I'm sure you have a lot of those in your network -- life coaches, organic farmers. The digital nomad movement is a big one too. Some of the people interviewed in my book have a business called "Where is My Office Now" and they've been traveling in their VW van, I think for the last five years or so.
They've just made a career out of sending reports from the road and telling people about the challenges and the way to approach van life. There are just so many ways to play the game of life. I think one of my early inspirations around the wildpreneur concept was not only my own experience but that of those in San Pancho. There seem to be so many unique international personalities that end up coming to this little town and just saying, "Hey, I wanted to start up this cool taco stand or this cervecería," which's the little brewery. Whatever it may be, there are all kinds of cool little shops.
In Mexico, it's also a lot easier to get started. I think there's a little bit less red tape but the whole theme is transferable globally. So, there are so many ways to do it and there not just one specific wildpreneur story that I can think of right now that I would say, "This is the one," because there are just so many beautiful options.
Vitina: Well, I cannot wait to get my hands on this book. For people who are interested in embarking on a wildpreneur journey, what questions might they ask themselves before diving in?
Tamara: The book is really a guide book, it's a blueprint and it offers stepping stones. The first chapter is called "Baja Daydreamer". Because part of the story that I haven't shared with you yet is after I wrote that business plan at Middlebury in college, my dad was then turning 60. He said, "Well, for my 60th birthday, I want to do this two-month kayaking trip down the Baja Peninsula, which is the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. At first, I was really resistant to the idea. I said, "Well, this is not- why are we not going into the jungle and getting started?"
He said, "Well, we have this opportunity. We have time, and this is what I want to do for my 60th." Being the beautiful daughter [laughs] that I am, I said, "Okay, this sounds brutal, but let's do it." My younger brother joined us. It was just such an incredibly transformative trip for me because again, it was all about letting go. You have to surrender. The Baja, for those of you that have been there, will know, it's in a place of extremes. Just extreme wilderness, extreme beauty, and extreme elements. That trip was all about spending hours and hours and hours of time on the water.
The water really gave me permission to daydream and think about, "Okay, what is it that we really want to create in the jungle?" What I would say, step one is to do some daydreaming which I think, unfortunately, in society, daydreaming is considered not always a positive thing. "Get your head out of the clouds, focus on your projects, keep the momentum going, productivity." I would say if you do have an idea you're toying with, give it some time. Spend some time on a retreat or in the wilderness or whatever your happy place may be and just daydream, visualize, imagine what your life could be like if you were living aligned with your purpose and your flow. That's step one, I would say.
Vitina: That's beautiful. You had a beautiful list of questions that you had sent me. I hesitate to say them, but they were so good that I'm going to read them off of the list. Some questions would be to ask yourself; what makes you come alive? What makes me come alive. Where do I find inspiration? How can I turn this into a business? How can I realistically get started? What is holding me back? Oftentimes, we really get stuck on what is holding me back.
Tamara: That's a big one. There's usually a lot of factors and elements. I think, to help people digest that stuff a little bit, I don't think you have to go for the big game right away. If that makes sense. I think a lot of people are afraid to completely let go of the life they're living, even if it's uncomfortable and they're not happy in it, whatever it may be. There are all kinds of reasons to be afraid and stuck. Then I would say, take a baby step in the right direction. Can you start your wild idea in a small way, and just taste it a little bit? Which I would say is a good thing in general.
Instead of going all in, give a sample, go small, and, and just gently ease yourself in that direction. Because it only takes a step or two to get started and then a lot of times momentum kicks in.
Vitina: Yes. I talk with friends about this all the time because even for me, I've mentioned this on the podcast before, but my background is in design. I went to OCAD University for graphic design. Well, I was in advertising, but you learn how to pretty much do graphic design during that process. Design had always been my bread and butter when I started Wanderful Soul in 2014. It was about two years before I actually started building it and making it a business. I started with the branding, I had fun, I wanted to inspire people to take care of their mental and emotional wellbeing to go on transformational experiences.
That started with inspiring people on social media, that started with having my own blog. I wasn't getting a return on these things but it was creating momentum, and I had so much passion doing it. It was fueling me in a different way that design necessarily wasn't. Then I did my first retreat in November of 2016 at Tailwind. So you are part of this Tamara. It's so interesting to see where it can take you. Because I wanted to build this business from an authentic place. I didn't sacrifice the quality of the content, bombarding people with sponsorship. I really wanted to make this pure and focused so when there was momentum it would be coming from an authentic place.
It took you three years to write this book. It took me really two years to start seeing a return on my investment; investment of time, investment in finances and energy. You don't have to take that leap. I love that you bring this up because design is that bread and butter. If you're in a nine to five, you don't have to quit your job and leap into something else. If you love a fire under your ass-
Vitina: -excuse my language, then maybe that's how you do it. Because you know you've got to get it done. I think for both of us, we are a little bit-- we like control. I could only imagine how that tempting Wall Street job was for you at age 22. Having that security is important. You have bills to pay, you have finances. If you have kids, that's a whole other story. You don't have to take that big leap like Tamara was suggesting. You can stick in your job, your nine to five. Hey, is there a way that you can take these baby steps like asking yourself, "How can I step forward into my passion a little bit more each day?"
I just know, for myself, and I'll speak for myself, but not for you, Tamara. The more I take those steps, and when I started taking those steps, those are when I felt most alive. I still was confused, like, "What is my purpose?" I feel like purpose can change from time to time. Now Tamara is going to be a new mom soon and her purpose is going to change even more. It's those little steps that make you feel like you're building something that's greater than you and helping to serve people at the end of the day. I wanted to share that story.
Tamara: That's beautiful. It just made me think of the value in a slow and steady approach. It's not the best fit for everybody but for my family, my dad, and my mom being the fun-loving free spirits that they are, they really wanted to design our business so we always had time to play. It's kept us going. I think without that we would have collapsed a long time ago. Because burn out is a real thing when you're running your own show. The slow and steady approach just like lessons from nature -- for those of you that are familiar with biomimicry, and I actually have a chapter devoted to this too -- the biggest things in nature started out tiny.
You think about a big tree -- and the acorns are falling all over in Quebec right now -- an acorn turns into a giant oak tree, but think about how long that takes. It also is a wonderful way to approach the trial and error. One of the wildpreneur philosophies that I've really embraced is the art of artful mistake making.
Vitina: I love that.
Tamara: Oh my gosh, I'm a master and it's the only way to be. Is not to think of it as failure, it's just one more stepping stone, one more lesson and they're going to keep coming. You might as well embrace that and just become a master of artful mistake making.
Vitina: I love that; artful mistake making. It's so true. When you can shift your mindset from why is this happening to me versus why is this happening for me, it's usually a little nudge in the direction of where you're actually meant to be going.
Tamara: Exactly. That's also what we were talking about, is feeling aligned with your purpose and your flow. That's one of those signals. Why is this happening for me? That's a good question to be asking for sure.
Vitina: It's such a good one. That one was a game-changer for my mindset because I dwelled too long in things when they didn't work out. I thought it was the end of the world. It's like my life is collapsing and then you just become more and more resilient as time goes by.
Tamara: You do. You get a thicker skin for sure. That's part of blazing your own trail for business too, is learning that you're not going to please everyone. That's okay. To get a little bit tough is also part of the journey.
Vitina: People-pleasing. We talk about this all the time on here. It's such a big one. Often, our decisions aren't even for us, they're to make other people happy. Of course, there are times where you got to go to a wedding shower or a baby shower-
Vitina: -because you love people and the people in your life. There are times, especially when it comes to your business that it's not going to please everyone but you got to do what feels right for you in an ethical way, of course. That's a huge one. That shift in doing things for your business and ultimately, how can you serve people, even more, you have to listen to you.
Tamara: Yes. That's part of the wildpreneur philosophy that I've arrived at over the years, is the holistic approach. Because what ended up happening for me or to me, both actually, was around year three of living in the jungle, I was then 25, the lodge was small. We started small, as I said, we were hosting about 9, 10 people. We had just hosted our first retreat. I had no personal boundaries. I was living in a tent, first of all.
Vitina: Seriously no boundaries.
Tamara: We were the extreme shoestring approach, which was fine for me at the time. I actually write about in my book quite extensively, the question of what is enough. Because I think as wildpreneurs, we do tend to be good at roughing it and shoes stringing, but for how long is that sustainable. You can't compromise your personal needs. You can to a point but then it starts to become extreme and unhealthy. Then you're starting to lose the holistic approach, which one piece of that is to invest in yourself and to take care of yourself along the way, which I think is easily forgotten as we put everything into our businesses.
Around year three, I had a pretty major collapse, just lacking energy, hospitality had kicked my ass, excuse me, but it really had. I'd never done anything like that before. I stayed in the jungle for the summer for several months alone. I took my own little personal retreat. I realized a few things. One of them was, first of all, I needed to have another job because I wasn't making enough money to sustain myself. Second of all, I didn't know how to take care of myself. This is something that is so lacking in our education. Early on in high school, I was definitely a victim of the beauty magazines and the dieting fads and all that.
Going into another culture, I was just so confused about what to eat and how to take care of me that I just sort of decided not to think about it, "Oh, it's fine, I'm just going to power through." When I crashed, I realized I needed some guidance. I actually went to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is a holistic nutrition program. It really saved me. I got must-needed clarity around bio-individuality, and how to listen to your body and take care of yourself. I also learned how to be a health coach. I was able to fulfill two needs; I did some health coaching from the lodge, and I was able to take care of myself. That kind of turned into my side hustle, the lodge was my primary deal.
Then I was able to take on another job that I did for several years until the lodge started making enough financial income for me to support myself in a healthy and sustainable way. Just to keep your mind open to different approaches as far as how to fund your dream, there are many different ways to play that game.
Vitina: Yes. From what I'm hearing, and this is also a reminder for myself if you don't put yourself as a priority on your to-do list, this is when burnout and overwhelm stress happens. Thank you for sharing that story. It's a big one. We can get so consumed in building our dream that we neglect ourselves. Taking that time for you, even if it's 10 minutes of alone time for you to meditate or take a walk in nature, whatever that looks like for you, and making yourself a priority. Because if you're not well, your business is not going to do well.
Tamara: No. Exactly. Without that life force and that energy, then you can't possibly be in alignment with your flow. They go together; self-care and life as a wildpreneur are definitely interconnected.
Vitina: They are. For you, is there a mantra or an affirmation that you use to get you through a day or through a hard time?
Tamara: That has changed over the years and you haven't been in my casita in the jungle in a while, I have these little sticky notes.
Tamara: There's actually a visualization that I have learned from Brendon Burchard. He has a book called High Performance Habits that I really enjoyed and I quote him quite a lot in my book. One of his visualizations is something that I do in the morning and in the end of the day, and I have this little sticky note taped onto my mirror. In the morning is; what am I looking forward to today? What is it that's going to make me come alive? What is it that makes me excited? The second one is; what could throw me off? What are some of the possible things that could throw me out of balance? So you kind of anticipate, "Okay, that might be a little bit challenging. How am I to navigate that?"
Visualizing at the beginning of the day, how you think that might flow, and not being attached to that, again, it's not the control thing, but just setting a positive intention and a willingness to navigate these challenges personally, professionally, that is inevitably going to come. Then the end of the day visualization reflection is just what went well today, what did I do well, what maybe should I have done a little differently, what can I work on. That's just a little self-talk that I've found to be super helpful. I think going into life as a mother, that's going to be a useful one also. Because apparently, the learning, the artful mistake making will be happening in a very large way.
Vitina: Wouldn't it be great if we all came out with a little manual in how you work?
Tamara: Oh, yes.
Tamara: Maybe baby will come with one of those.
Vitina: Yes. Maybe a jungle baby has hope for that.
Vitina: Oh my goodness, I love it. I know your book is- the pre-order is happening November 15th, 2019, and the book is actually launching on February 11th. Super exciting. One, your book is important, but I also want to know, are there any books that have helped you along your journey?
Tamara: Whoo, so many. I've always been a passionate reader. Of late, and this is slightly off the entrepreneurship topic, but as far as working in alignment with your flow and your rhythm, I found that-- there's a book called Lunar Abundance. The author's name is escaping me right now, but it does for those of you that live in a very natural environment, the moon and the cycles can really be a beautiful guide for how you organize your goals and your projects. When you're managing your own time, as far as working with the natural flow, just in a nutshell, you want to be working on these bigger projects and building that momentum up to the full moon.
Then once the full moon comes, then you ride the current. That is a much better rhythm for me. I felt like I was fighting in some ways against the current and that has helped me a lot. That's a beautiful book. Trying to think of what else. Well, very much inspired by Patagonia and Let My People Go Surfing. That's been one on my family's bookshelf for many, many years.
Vitina: That sounds about right.
Tamara: Yes. The whole conscious capitalism, natural capitalism, and just mindful business. It's about family, connection, purpose, and passion but it's also about being mindful of our impact; the natural world, our communities and trying to all work together to make the world a better place. I think that's a big mantra for us.
Vitina: That's beautiful and you, El Tigre, Judi, and now Walter and jungle baby are all contributing to that. I'm so grateful to have crossed paths with you in this lifetime. It's really special.
Tamara: Likewise, I can't wait to see where the journey takes you next. You just seem to be you very much in your flow. So congratulations on everything you've created, loving this podcast. All the people on the show have so much inspiration to share. It's just beautiful.
Vitina: Thank you. Now you're one of them.
Tamara: I'm honoured. Yes, it's just such a joy to chat with you about things like this. It's what makes me come alive.
Vitina: I feel like we were definitely in flow. I got lost. I'm looking at the time and it just flew past.
Tamara: It did. Yes.
Vitina: So beautiful. Tamara, where can our listeners find you and the book once it launches?
Tamara: Everything book related will be at wildpreneurs.com. You can cruise on over to that website, which I would imagine will be in the show notes. Wildpreneurs.com will have everything book related and then, of course, Tailwind Jungle Lodge, which was recently designed by our beautiful host, Vitina. We are so happy with our new website. So thank you for that.
Vitina: You're so welcome. I look at it and it makes me so happy each time I go on. It makes me more and more excited that I'm coming in November.
Tamara: Absolutely. November is a beautiful time of year. The jungle is glowing green after the rain, so your timing is perfect.
Vitina: So excited. For any wellness practitioners, any yoga teachers, if you're ever looking for a place to host a retreat, highly recommended my retreat, "Wander-In", which I host about once a year, so depending on when you're listening to this episode, the time it might have already passed, but this November, November, I believe 8th to 15th, we will be at Tailwind for the Wander-In retreat, which is all about connecting, tuning in to where you're blocked, what's holding you back from living your best life, it's really about helping you become the CEO of your life. I'm super excited to see you in the jungle, Tamara.
Tamara: Yes, we'll see what the jungle teaches us next.
Vitina: Oh my goodness. I'm waiting for the lessons.